Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has seized unregistered products and arrested one person in an effort clamp down on drug peddlers in the countries Ashanti Region.
The recent arrest made at Alabar in Kumasi uncovered unregistered herbal and orthodox medicines worth GHC700,000.
The post-market surveillance swoop which began last week has arrested six other suspects in the Racecourse and Bantama areas of Kumasi.
The head of the FDA in the Ashanti Region, John Laryea Odei Tettey, stated that the suspect is assisting with police investigations.
He said: “this is one of the routine exercises the FDA carries across the country and it is just about the seizure of unregistered products out there in the market. This one was seized in just a single shop at Alabar and we have a number of them out there.
“You recall that last week we had a similar exercise. The Ashanti Regional office is going to sustain this exercise. We are working with our collaborators, the Ghana Police Service.
“They have been of immense help and we are going to ensure that products that are not registered, especially the medicinal products, which are dangerous would be gotten rid of from the market.”
Tettey cautioned retailers and distributors to source their supplies from only recognized dealers to avoid dealing in fake or unregistered products.
He also cautioned the public against the patronage of fake products because their safety cannot be guaranteed.
He said: “we want to advise those who are into this kind of illegal trade to rethink their activities because we will come at them. The advice to consumers is that get properly diagnosed, visit the hospital and get the prescription.
“Medicines are sold at designated places and we expect that pharmacies, over-the-counter medicine shops that are licensed, and licensed herbal medicinal products shops are available. You need to move in there with a prescription if any.
“You cannot buy medicines while its being hawked. If you have a problem, which we call adverse drug reaction, we need to trace back to where you got it from. Now you bought it from somebody who is on the move, how are we going to get them? So, it is dangerous to buy drugs at undesignated places.”
Tettey reiterated an earlier caution that the authority will soon take legal action against advertisers, including radio stations and information centres, who use their platforms to market such unregistered products. He advised such agencies to advertise only registered products.